Baseball: Oswego edges Romeoville againRomeoville's Anthony Gladstone is tagged out at second by Oswego's Tim Wodzisz at Oswego High School in Oswego, Ill., on Wednesday, April 11, 2012. | Corey R. Minkanic~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 11, 2012 9:34PM
Oswego’s is getting accustomed to being in low-scoring, close ballgames so far this spring.
The Panthers found themselves in yet another one on Wednesday against Romeoville, and they found a way to come through yet again.
Oswego put itself in a position to earn the three-game sweep over the Spartans Thursday with a 3-2 win behind the pitching of Nick Gerber. The win followed up a dramatic, 5-4 win Tuesday in the series opener.
“It’s how they’ve all been,” Oswego coach Chris Neitzel said. “Our biggest loss is three runs, so we’ve been in every game, that’s the good news. Any win is a good win. We just have to keep getting better.”
Gerber (2-2) has faced as difficult a schedule as anybody around so far this season, losing tough games to perennial powers Naperville Central and Plainfield North, and he was on point once again Wednesday.
The senior went the distance, striking out seven and walking three, one intentionally. Both of the runs he allowed were unearned in the fifth inning and he surrendered only one hit all day.
“My fastball and changeup were working well and my curveball was actually working for once,” Gerber said. “I don’t throw it much, so I’m just getting used to it. We have a lot of good pitching this year.”
Gerber was a part of the three-run rally the Panthers (8-5, 3-2) had in the second inning, their only runs of the game off of Romeoville starter William Herkel (2-1). Jose Camacho led off the third with a single and Brendon O’Dea singled courtesy runner Lucas Deceault in. O’Dea scored on an error and Gerber singled and scored on a Nick Wernke single to open a 3-0 lead.
But despite having runners on in every inning, the Panthers could never pad the total against Herkel, who walked one and struck out four while allowing seven hits and one earned run.
“It’s kind of been a struggle all year for us, it doesn’t matter who we play,” Neitzel said. “We’re struggling to score runs. I don’t want to use the new bats as an excuse, but it’s obviously a different ballgame right now. We have to do things like bunting and hit and run and stealing and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Romeoville coach Dave Haskins wasn’t upset with the performance of Herkel, who has an ERA under 1.00 for the season even after the loss Wednesday.
“He didn’t have his best stuff today,” Haskins said. “For a day he didn’t have his best stuff, he kept us in the ballgame. Three runs in a high school game is good. He threw well, kept us in the game. He’s been a big horse for us all year.”
Oswego goes for the sweep at Romeoville Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
“That’s two one-run games, so we can’t expect anything else tomorrow,” Neitzel said. “We have to come out and play.”